Executive Principal’s Blog – 3.4.20: ‘The New Normal?’
As we get used to the ‘new normal’ I would like to thank all students, staff and parents and carers for their support and encouragement as we adjust to becoming a predominantly online learning community. There will, as with any significant change, be some teething problems and one of the main issues that has arisen is students coping with a sense of being bombarded with work to do.
If it helps, I have heard from some staff that some of their students appear to be following their usual timetable that they would have followed in school, completing lessons at home at their set times of the week. I have also heard some lovely reports yesterday of classes taking part in online ‘Quizlets’ and being really encouraged by seeing each other’s names come up on the screen as they respond to the questions – reminding them of our strong sense of togetherness and community at this time.
A parent last week emailed me to say how lovely it was to see the weekly Bushey Meads News (something from our previous usual routine) as it reminded them of more normal times and I would like to thank all staff for contributing to this sense of normality. She also wanted to pass on her thanks to all the teachers who have been brilliant in continuing to support the GCSE students. It was very encouraging for us all to get this feedback.
I have been so impressed with how our school community have pulled together at this time and have really demonstrated a ‘Mind to be Kind’ perhaps epitomised by those writing letters to NHS staff at our local hospitals or even raising money through gofundme pages – supplying staff lunches and big smiles as shown in the photo. Do read the article in this week’s newsletter and consider contributing to this great campaign.
Finally although we do all face uncharted territory as we cope with this outbreak of COVID-19 for all of us, it has made our lives come together in ways they may never have before. In the media there is a lot of discussion around parents’ responsibility for home-schooling and, although there have been so many positive reports of students completing work, I know many parents are perhaps feeling overwhelmed and stressed about this situation.
At BMS we do recognise that most of our parents are not trained teachers, unlike ourselves who have spent years training to be educators for your children. Even as trained teachers many of us face home schooling and being at home to be a whole new world as well; you are not alone and remember this is an emergency situation.
As we balance the pressure of perhaps working from home, home schooling, preparing meals and doing everything that needs to be done during this time of crisis, we are probably all facing difficulties. So do remember as parents and carers you do not need to recreate school at home.
You know your children best and you need to do what works for you and your family.
Whilst at home, do use this time to focus on helping your children learn important life skills that perhaps you have often felt too busy to work on. Things like doing the chores, cooking, cleaning, doing some art and crafts, science, mental maths, music and if possible going outside as a family whilst adhering to the Government guidelines. These times are trying enough so please do not put more pressure on yourselves and on your children; as always do remember that our children may not remember what they learned during this pandemic, but they will remember how they felt.
Remember to show compassion, think of others and show love to people around you. When things get to be too much and you need a break take it and remember we are all in this together. Above all don’t stress, take care of yourselves and your loved ones and as always do click on the link to read about the latest BMS News.